(What's the Story) Morning blurry?
November 4, 2009 7:29 AM   Subscribe

IKnowYouAreNotMyDoctor-filter: one blurry eye in the morning.


I've had a new eye behaviour since this Monday. Waking up, I quickly opened my eyes, only to discover a slight change of perception to my right eye, and a feeling as if opening my peeled something off my cornea - but it might just my brain trying to adapt a blurry right eye to a perfect left eye.

Yes, because I don't wear glasses or lenses - never have. I used to have very clear vision in both eyes (not perfect, mind you, but I could read easily some very far texts).

I slowly regained focus on my right eye, but since then I have a slightly blurrier vision in the right eye than my left. Next morning (yesterday), I woke up with no noticeable change. This morning, I again woke up with a blurry right eye, which improved in the next few minutes.

Yes, I am planning to see an ophthalmology, but it can take months before I get a appointment, so in the meantime I'm asking The Hive: have you ever witnessed such a behaviour (both the morning blur, and the slight loss of focus from one day to the next)? Should I be worried?

Details: I'm 32 and healthy, I work on a computer all day (have been for years with no issue)... and have slightly lacked sleep these last few days (what with being single again, y'know).

Thanks a lot for any insight.
posted by XiBe to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Something about how you describe this screams detached retna to me - if it is, it's not a it can wait kind of thing. But it's also something that would take an opthamologist about a minute to diagnose (or really anyone with a ophthalmoscope and a vague idea of what the inside of your eye ought to look like).

Have you recently suffered any kind of blow to the head?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:37 AM on November 4, 2009

Sounds like muscle weakness to me. But yeah, do what you can to get an appointment ASAP.
posted by unixrat at 7:38 AM on November 4, 2009

Go to the doctor now. It might not be anything bad, but let this be a cautionary tale: My dad had a retinal detachment. It started out as just a blurry eye with a feeling something had fallen. He waited a few days to go to the doctor, and because of this his retina was almost totally detached. His surgery and recovery were extremely complicated and difficult. His surgeon said if he had come in earlier, the fix would have have much, much easier.

Please, please get this checked out soon.
posted by bluefly at 7:49 AM on November 4, 2009

It might just be "eye boogers". Your eyes produce a mucousy substance when you sleep. Sometimes I wake up with one blurry eye and if I look carefully in the mirror, I can see a bit of gunk on my eyeball. Washing my face in the morning usually takes care of it.

On the other hand I can't imagine that type of blurriness running longer than an hour or so.
posted by ubermuffin at 7:51 AM on November 4, 2009

I had a similar thing happen a while back. It went away the same day, and because I had an eye doctor appointment coming up in a few days, I ignored it. When I mentioned this at my appointment, I caught hell from my eye doctor. His point: It could be nothing, and it could be something VERY SERIOUS.

It should not take you any time at all to get an appointment with an emergency situation. Call an ophthalmologist's office and tell them you need an emergency appointment TODAY.

Sorry to be alarmist, but these are your eyes we're talking about. Don't take chances.
posted by etc. at 7:53 AM on November 4, 2009

It may very well be nothing. I had something like this, and went to the ophthalmologist immediately. The doctor found nothing wrong, and we figured out that by sleeping really hard with that side of my face pressed against my arm, I'd temporarily pushed my eye out of shape (a technique using hard contact lenses is actually used to treat astigmatism in some cases). However, it's important to rule out more serious causes, so as everyone else says, get it checked out at the doctor.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:01 AM on November 4, 2009

I believe that sleeping on your side, where your pillow or arm is pressing against your eye, can temporarily misshape your cornea, resulting in blurry vision when you wake.

When I lie on a massage table, with my head poking through that hole, sometimes if my eye is pressed against the hole-pillow, I'll have blurry vision for about 30 minutes afterwards.

For me, just making sure I don't put pressure on my eye fixes any problems.
posted by surenoproblem at 8:12 AM on November 4, 2009

Seconding the eye-boogers / squashing your eye out of shape ideas. I regularly manage to sleep with one or both of my eyes half open, (sometimes with one of them pressed onto the pillow!) and regularly have blurry gunky vision for a while on waking.

On the other hand, I'm also seconding the 'go to an opthalmologist ASAP, it's your eyesight and you don't want to lose it!" ideas. I can't imagine a quick peer inside with an opthalmoscope to check for major problems can be that expensive or time consuming.
posted by ruperto at 8:40 AM on November 4, 2009

I have this happen all the time (if I'm reading you correctly).

When I asked my eye doc he said that my eye was coming partially open and it was really dry and causing blurriness.

Of course, my vision comes back. If yours is not it may be something else.
posted by damionbroadaway at 8:41 AM on November 4, 2009

Like surenoproblem said, I have this all the time if I sleep on my stomach such that my eye is pressed up against my arm or something. I think it just pushes my eyeball into a different shape that it takes a while to recover from. I try not to do it because it's annoying.
posted by tamaraster at 9:06 AM on November 4, 2009

Everyone makes good points here (although I might throw in "possibly, a scratch on your cornea" too)-- but the kicker of it is, you have no way of knowing which of these things it really is until you get in to see someone. A detached retina or a badly scraped cornea will get *much* worse without the proper treatment, and possibly permanently damage your vision.

Even an optometrist can detect a retinal detach, but most ophthalmologists' offices, when presented with symptoms like yours that came on suddenly, will get you an appointment ASAP.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:07 AM on November 4, 2009

I had similar symptoms and was diagnosed with glaucoma. Please go get medical attention immediately.
posted by andreap at 3:35 PM on November 4, 2009

I've had a similar problem. It happens when I wake up after falling asleep while reading on my side with my head squished into the pillow. The problem seems to stem from having one eye open and one shut for an extended period of time. It's at its worst when I've been reading the iphone kindle app.
posted by Morpeth at 3:43 PM on November 4, 2009

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advices.

I managed to get an appointment at a local ophthalmologist's a few days after the fact.

She had her doubt on the "sleeping on one's arm" theory, and suggested these short-term blurry vision could be first signs of nerve or heart issues, but seeing that I'm too young to bring much worry on either case, and that my vision is close to perfect still, she wasn't much concerned about this. However, should such blur happen again, I should be making deeper tests. Until then, I can live my life without any worry.

So, not much change, and cannot bring much of a help to people living the same thing, but still, I hope my experience can be of use to others.

Cheers, you all! Thanks again!
posted by XiBe at 4:22 PM on November 14, 2009

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